Apple baked and glazed gammon
- December 2005
- 2-3kg middle gammon
- 54 cloves
- Few fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 2 litres apple juice
- 4 tbsp apricot jam
- 4 tbsp demerara sugar
- Fresh cranberries, to garnish
- Soak the gammon overnight if salty (see tip). Weigh and calculate the cooking time based on 20 minutes per 500g. Put the ham on a trivet or upside down saucer in a large pan. Add 6 cloves, the thyme sprigs and 2 bay leaves. Pour in the apple juice to just cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer for the calculated cooking time. Skim off any scum occasionally
- Once cooked leave to cool in the cooking liquid until cool enough to handle. Remove from the saucepan and put onto a board. Discard the cooking liquid. With the help of a small knife, cut away the skin, taking care not to remove too much of the fat. Discard the skin (see video in tips).
- Score the exposed fat in a diamond pattern, making sure not to cut too deeply to reveal the meat. Take a thin slice off the base of the gammon – so it sits upright for glazing – and put into a roasting tin. Stir the jam and sugar together in a bowl. Brush all over the scored fat.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Decorate with about 48 cloves by pushing them into the centre of each diamond. Roast for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool. Put on a serving platter and decorate with the extra bay leaves and some fresh cranberries. Serve with Cumberland sauce with cranberries.
The day before you cook the joint, check how salty it is. To do this, cut a very thin slice off the underside and pan-fry for a few minutes and taste. If it’s too salty, soak the joint in plenty of cold water for 24 hours, changing the water occasionally.
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